Cleaners at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) have called off prospective strike action and are celebrating victory after NHS bosses conceded to their demands for full NHS terms and conditions, paving the way for full equality.
The worker’s ballot for strike action saw a 97% ‘yes’ vote which came out as GOSH announced their commitment to bringing the cleaners up to full NHS ‘Agenda for Change’ terms and conditions. United Voices of the World (UVW) members have warned they will not hesitate to walk out if GOSH reneges on any commitments.
Last year workers won a historic campaign to end outsourcing at GOSH, then after coming back in house won a string of concessions, such as pensions, NHS pay and sick pay, but found out they had not been given full NHS parity. UVW members continued fighting in a campaign that saw a wave of support from domestic workers and medical professionals.
Gora Diop, a cleaner at GOSH since 2017 and the first UVW member on-site, said:
“We’ve been fighting with the help of the UVW to be treated equally in the NHS. We won the fight because we voted yes to go on strike and GOSH gave in to us. The UVW has done a great job for us to have full equality. All workers in the UK can do the same as us by joining the UVW to get better terms and conditions.”
Petros Elia, organiser and general secretary for UVW, said:
“This is the second time UVW has ended outsourcing in an NHS Trust through an industrial dispute and our members get NHS contracts. We have no intention of making it our last. Outsourcing in the NHS (and beyond) ‐ which in London is a heavily racialised industry, a cause of much of the city’s lower-end inequality and higher rates of hospital acquired infections, amongst other pernicious things ‐ can and must be ended.”